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Super Senior: Eleanor Anderson's quilting is 'God's work'

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Posted at 4:37 PM, Aug 28, 2023

If it’s a Tuesday, then you are sure to find Eleanor Anderson at Atonement Lutheran Church in Billings Heights—sewing up a storm with the ladies in the quilting group.

The group has made and donated thousands of quilts over the years. Eleanor is the head quilter and like most days, she is hard at work.

“We just tell her she never sleeps,” says long-time friend and fellow church member Julie Leno. “She is the drive. She is the push behind the shove.”

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Last year alone the ladies made 2364 quilts for the needy and for Lutheran World Relief.

But there was a time Eleanor remembers when the threads were nearly bare.

“I said if the good Lord wants us to continue this work, He has got to provide. And less than one hour there was a box of fabrics that came in and before we left that afternoon there was another box full that came in. And we haven’t been without fabrics since,” Eleanor recalls.

She’s been a part of the group for around 30 years. She took up quilting after retiring from her job as a Tupperware distributor, which is what originally brought her to Billings.

And even when it’s not a Tuesday, you will still find Eleanor hard at work at home-cutting, tying, snipping, and sewing—making quilts for the less fortunate.

“Somebody will like it,” she says, holding up a finished quilt and smiling.

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She can make a basic quilt in less than a half hour, some of the more intricate ones take much longer.

“When I timed myself on a throw here awhile back it took me 29 minutes to lay it out, pin it, tie it, sew it. That was kind of mind-boggling. I didn’t realize it took that little time,” she said.

On this day, she is getting ready to take a carload of the quilts to Family Services.

But it’s not just humans that she has a heart for. Eleanor also makes hundreds of toys and beds that she donates for shelter animals.

At the age of 87, she is a bundle of energy who is doing important work.

“It’s God’s work. Our hands. And it’s fun,” she says.

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